I’m Sorry And I Want You Back: One Woman’s Open Letter To Her Eyebrows

I’m Sorry And I Want You Back: One Woman’s Open Letter To Her Eyebrows

I don’t have many regrets. But you are among them. I did you wrong.
Mary Katharine Ham
By

Hey. So … I know it’s been a while. Like, a long time. Look, there’s no reason you should even listen to me. I get it. But I’m begging you to just give me a chance.

Let’s just put it out there. I want you back.

I’m so, so sorry. You have no idea.

I was young. I was stupid. I didn’t know how to treat you.

I didn’t know that you were … perfect. You are perfect.

This is gonna sound crazy to you, I know, but I look back at 9th grade picture day — the ill-fitting Gap rugby shirt, the high-waisted baggy-butt tapered jeans — my Lord, the scrunchie, the braces. And you know what is the most beautiful thing in that picture? You are. You are the only thing worth a damn, and you’re absolutely magnificent.

The way you took up 1/3 of my forehead. The way you luxuriated above my shimmery ‘90s eyeshadow like two friendly caterpillars. The natural arch, the sheer volume. The way you framed my blemished, teenaged moon face without any need for guidance or maintenance. Dark, full, healthy.

And yet, what did I do? I pushed you away. I cursed you, abused you, waxed you, plucked you. I damn near obliterated you one night before my best friend’s 16th birthday party because what better way to prepare for the potential of young romance than to remove an entire feature of your face? Come and get me, boys!

I remember how you even did that little trick at the front where one little bit of the brow kind of pirouettes to the center Cara-Delevingne style, you show off.

You offered me Brooke Shields’ brows, “Blue Lagoon” brows, Jennifer Connelly’s come-hither-David-Bowie “Labyrinth” brows. And I said “pass.”

But not just pass! This was no passive endeavor, but a years-long campaign to change you into something unrecognizable.

Why?! I was such a fool.

The magazines told me you were too big. Alicia Silverstone’s brows told me you were too dark. Gwen Stefani’s told me to go just a little bit thinner. Just. Keep. Plucking. It was a generational epidemic of brow dysmorphia. We knew not what we did!

I don’t have many regrets. It has been a life well lived. But you. You are among them. I did you wrong.

Two years ago, I repented. I’ve been working on myself. I haven’t touched a pair of tweezers in 18 months. I’ve been trying to earn you back.

I just keep waiting. And you don’t show up. I look for signs every day that you might come back. Even slowly, gradually. I guess I can’t blame you. Who wants to be reshaped and banished and trash-talked for 15 years and then come back for more?

But I’ve really changed. I swear, baby.

I admit, there have been temptations, maybe even mistakes here and there. Everyone’s road to recovery is different.

I have tried and failed to replace you, and for that I’m sorry, too. Pencils, brushes, brow gel, brow consultants, any and every product including but not limited to castor oil and strangely labeled Korean products of uncertain provenance from eBay. I got caught in one of those P2P Facebook loops with a chick from high school who was hawking something that might grow brows. I promised myself I’d never do that. But there I was. Rock bottom.

Reaching out for you.

I clicked on an ad for microblading. Twice. I didn’t actually DO IT. But this is how desperate I am. I love you so much, I’m thinking of getting an imitation of you literally tattooed on my face.

A face tattoo. Of YOUR LIKENESS.

Sorry, is that too much? Forget I said that.

The point is, I think we could make this work. I could love you right this time.

And it’s not just for me. Sure, that’s part of it. But I want my kids to see that their mother can make a mistake and come back. I want them to see the struggle and the pain, the excrutiating brow envy when I see what could have been on the face of some awkward 13-year-old with the good fortune to grow up in a time that has both a “TRL” reboot and respect for the brow. Would that we had been so lucky.

Maybe my daughters won’t make the same mistakes I did.

A lot of couples stay together for the kids. We could do it. It’ll be different this time. Please come back.

Together we can be so much more. Together, we can try new things we’ll definitely never regret, like this Groupon for lip fillers and Botox at a questionably credentialed dermatologist! Yep, everything’s going to be perfect this time.

Mary Katharine Ham is a senior writer at The Federalist.

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